Walden University Week 8 Foundations of Bureaucratic Ethics Analysis

Assignment: Application: Foundations of Bureaucratic Ethics

Contemporary policy debates revolve around interpretations of how a democratic nation is to be governed. The ongoing controversy over the meaning of the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution is an example of a modern-day issue rooted in early democratic principles. Given the nature of gun violence in the United States, the right to bear arms is a heated policy issue that warrants in-depth reflection of what was intended for this fundamental right. Part of the modern-day argument centers on whether government intervention in the form of gun control is what the Founding Fathers would have wanted. Debates about the proper role of government are as old as the government itself. The very fact that there still is concern about what was intended is an indication that founding periods in government are viewed as normative events, that is, events that established or instituted democratic standards or became the basis for democracy as we interpret it.

In previous weeks, you have analyzed democratic concepts, democratic principles, and democratic processes. Now you are asked to think more concretely about those issues by assessing whether democratic governance constitutes the very foundation of bureaucratic ethics. Those working in government are required to adhere to a professional code of ethics. American public servants take an oath upon appointment or election to uphold the principles of the Constitution as part of their professional duties. For example, a public servant should support the ideas of separation of powers and rule of law, which are basic tenets of American democratic government. The question remains, however, whether taking action that advances the cause of democratic governance is a legitimate way to assess ethical behavior.

To prepare for this Assignment:

  • Review the article “Public Management as Ethics” in this week’s Learning Resources. Focus on the considerations of a values checklist as an aid in developing ethical public servants. Also, focus on the values checklist as it applies to the practice of public management.
  • Review the article “Ethics and Comparative Administration” in this week’s Learning Resources. Think about the ethical obligations of public administrators as public servants.
  • Consider the argument that democratic governance is the foundation of bureaucratic ethics.
  • Think about whether you agree with this argument.
  • Consider what you believe to be “true” about the foundation(s) of bureaucratic ethics.

The Assignment (1–2 pages):

  • Read the “The United Nations of South America” document (located in this week’s Learning Resources). Respond to the questions at the end of this document.

Support your Assignment with specific references to all resources used in its preparation. You are asked to provide a reference list only for those resources not included in the Learning Resources for this course.

Rohr, J. A. (2007). Ethics and comparative administration.
Public Integrity,
10(1), 65–74.

Note: You will access this article from the Walden Library databases.

Wedel, J. R., Shore, C., Feldman, G., & Lathrop, S. (2005). Toward an anthropology of public policy.
The ANNALS of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, 600(1), 30–51.

Note: You will access this article from the Walden Library databases.

Dobel, J. P. (2006). Public management as ethics. In The Oxford handbook of public management, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 161–181. Retrieved from
http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id…

Lempert, R. J., Popper, S. W., Min, E. Y., & Dewar, J. A. (Eds). (2009). Shaping tomorrow today: Near-term steps towards long-term goals. Retrieved from
http://www.rand.org/pubs/conf_proceedings/CF267.ht…

Document: The United Nations of South America (PDF)

Required Media

Laureate Education (Producer). (2014e).
Ethics and social change [Audio file]. Baltimore, MD: Author.

In this media piece, subject-matter experts discuss a case/scenario in public policy, which presents some ethical challenge. This media also discuss what social change looks like in public policy.

Optional Resources

Rosenbloom, D. H., Kravchuk, R. S., & Clerkin, R. M. (2009a). Accountability and ethics. In
Public administration: Understanding management, politics, and law in the public sector (7th ed., pp. 507–538). Boston, MA: McGraw-Hill Higher Education.


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